Close Friends!

“We are friends” is an interesting description of a relationship, but what does it mean? Presumably you know some people who you consider to be friends, but what does that mean?

The definition of a friend is so broad, and is dictated by ones own perspective, that it is a very questionable word to use unless you have a qualifier. Am I talking about Facebook friends, close friends, distant friends, running friends, friends at work etc .etc.

For this Post, let us consider close friends because they are (from my perspective) the most important ones to have. These are the individuals who will go out of their way as necessary for you, but will ask for nothing in return. These are the individuals who may not agree with your view of the world and resulting decisions, but will support you just because something is clearly important to you. These are very special people! These are people who express no expectations whatsoever from you!

So many friends simply do not meet that criteria. There may be an expectation that their interest in you will be matched by your interest in them. Let’s just call them “good” friends”!

So how many close friends do you have? It’s an interesting question because most of us would probably respond without thinking it through too deeply. Not wishing to offend anybody’s friends, but how many close friends (see bold paragraph above) do you really have?

A partner is an obvious one for many of us… but really? There are usually quite a few expectations within that kind of a relationship. Even sibling relationships can be imperfect when other family members are involved.

We are naturally social creatures and to have friends in the broadest sense is important to us. I have no doubt that you, like me, have quite a number of friends at all kinds of levels of association but, again, how many close friends (see bold paragraph above) do you really have?

In order for me to answer that question, I have to re-phrase it to “How many really close friends have you experiencedย  in your life?” My answer is one!

A very long time ago, when circumstances became particularly difficult, I met a man who showed an interest in helping me to refocus my life. We met on a regular basis and talked over a snack or two (which he paid for). Our relationship lasted around 6 months and, when there was no longer a need, he withdrew fromย  my life. He never asked for anything. He never tried to persuade me to do anything. He simply listened and suggested things that I might want to consider. I found out much later that he was a minister at a local church, but he did not broach religion in any of our meetings.

Perhaps he “set the bar” very high as a friend, because while I do have a number of people that I would call “close friends”. I am really not too sure whether they could meet that standard of dedication in helping me, or that sacrifice of both time and money.

Of course, until circumstances dictate the need for that kind of support, one can never quite know who will “shine”, and who will fade into the shadows. It could be that I currently have a really close friend or two and not even know it. It could be that those friends that I consider close may be very disappointing under certain circumstances!

I have experienced one close friend, and will never forget that individual. As Leo Buscaglia noted once “A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.”

How many close friends do you have? Can you be sure? Just thinking!

23 thoughts on “Close Friends!

  1. Friends must be in the air. This is the second post I read on friends and I also posted one. As I wrote my post, I realized that I don’t have many close friends but that’s ok. The more I read the more I realize that’s how it should be.

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  2. This day and age there appears to be a mashup of the terms “friend” and “acquaintance.” I find I have few friends but dozens of acquaintances. And some times even the ‘friends’ move to the later category through growth. Theirs and mine. It can be sad or it can be a celebration knowing we each are reacting to our own realities that may no longer have need for the other person. You sometimes have to let them go and hope for their peace and happiness.

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  3. We don’t need to have many friends, just a couple of close friends would suffice. I’ve been miles away from my best friend since I left my home country, Malaysia, more than 10 years ago. I’m glad to say that today, she’s still my best friend and I love her to bits even though we’re so different. I probably have a handful of other ‘close friends’ but I can’t say for sure that they’ll be there for me if needed. I find that people are becoming more and more pre-occupied with their own lives that we may end up neglecting those close to us.

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    • Hi. Your last sentence does seem to be accurate in that people do generally seem to be rather more self-focused than many years ago. There would seem to be a much stronger drive for material things, which is dictating a more life consuming work commitment, and less time for those around us… although that could be just me getting older! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. A good post, for it really is something to think about. I think its wonderful what your close friend did for you many years ago when you really needed it. That is truly showing God’s love in action.

    A close friend is one who you can call up at 3am in the morning and you don’t need to say a word, they can hear your heart and will listen. I consider myself blessed to have some very close friends that that have proven that they will stick by me in the hard times.

    My Mom’s best friend modeled to me what a very close friend is, when I was 13. It was the night that my brother died. My Mom called her sobbing on the phone. She appeared on our doorstep that night with a suitcase. Gave us all back rubs as she encouraged us to try to get some sleep. Made us tea. Made sure we got some nutrition in us during the next week. Handled our constantly ringing phone, did the laundry and the cleaning and just so much more. Reminds me again of your friend that you described, was there when we desperately needed her. She jumped in and showed God’s love in action.

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  5. My closest friend has lived 600 miles (965 k) away since 1984. We don’t communicated often for months, but when we are together we pick up like we were never apart. I know I can count on her for anything without judgement. My other closest friend is like a daughter without the issues. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am blessed.

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